Kincardine Youth Waves seeks applications for youth council

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News

By Barb McKay

Youth in Kincardinewill soon have a vehicle to make their voices heard.

During its meeting last Wednesday, the Municipality of Kincardine council endorsed a plan by Kincardine Youth Waves to form a youth council. The initiative builds upon the municipality’s efforts to be a ‘youth-friendly community’ after receiving that designation from Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) earlier this year. During the application process to earn the designation PRO identified a couple of weak areas that needed to be addressed including the need for more civic engagement for youth. As a result, PRO selected Kincardine as one of three rural pilot sites in the province to receive mentorship and funding to establish a youth council.

Grade 8 student Brooklyn Lampi sits on the Kincardine Youth Waves committee and said by forming a youth council local youth feel valued in the community and feel that they are being listened to.

“The opportunity to have our youth heard in our community means a lot,” she told council.

Deputy mayor Jacqueline Faubert, who is also a member of the committee, said young people will determine the council structure and what its goals will be.

“Parks and Recreation Ontario wants this to be very youth driven, so for us to say this is how this will be done and this is what it will look like would be very top down and the youth voice would be very low on that ladder.”

Faubert said Youth Waves is seeking between 12 and 15 youth between the ages of 12 and 19 years old to form the council. The council will meet once or twice each month and members would need to commit four or five hours of their time each month for approximately six months.

To apply, interested teens and pre-teens must fill out a survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/N8ZGFDQ and explain why they believe a youth voice in the community is important. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 15. Applicants are expected to be selected in January.

The Kincardine Youth Waves committing is asking the municipality for space to hold youth council meetings – possibly in municipal council chambers – and for a municipal staff person to act as a liaison.

“I think this is a very worthwhile endeavour,” said Mayor Anne Eadie, but noted that council would require a report from staff on availability of time and meeting space. “We are so fortunate to have so many talented youth in our community. They do so many wonderful things.”